Conveyancing is that branch of law concerned with the study and analysis of the documents for the transferring of
the ownership right of a real estate property from vendor to buyer. It is completed when the deed of sale has been signed.
The duration of the buying process can varies according with all sorts of things, such as how many buyers and vendors are involved, whether there are legal issues pertaining to ownership or concerns about the location, if the property is off-plan, partially built; there may be concerns about the condition or planning permission of an existing property. Basically then, the whole process can take weeks or months.
Although it is not mandatory in Italy to engage a lawyer when purchasing a property, an experienced and independent property lawyer can guide you through the complexities of Italian legal buying process and related paperwork as well as help resolve any legal issues that come up along the way; and while instructing a lawyer may seem like an additional cost, prevention is always a better, less frustrating and less costly solution than curing legal issues once you own a property in Italy.
How exactly can a lawyer help with Italian conveyancing?
EXPLAIN – Buying Process
Your lawyer will clarify the Italian property purchasing process for you and help identify what needs to be done in your particular situation. Your lawyer will guide you through the process and provide legal support and advice throughout.
SEARCH – Legal Due Diligence
Legal due diligence is that process where your lawyer will check all the aspects related to the real estate transaction, so to confirm whether the ownership right can be transferred or not and what eventual issue or specific condition needs to be resolved; in particular:
- Checking the title of ownership and its history
- Verifying the eventual existence of any kind of burdens, debt, lawsuit, and prejudice of the title
- Making sure there are no issues related to the Italian zoning legislation so to ensure that a property is legally built
- Estimate the transfer tax
Based on the Legal Due Diligence outcome, your lawyer will draft/review the legally-binding agreements on your behalf; it can be a very powerful tool to get better contractual terms and conditions (price, method of payment, delivery, property settings, tax, etc.)
Generally there are three legal steps involved in Italian property purchases: Proposal of Purchase, Preliminary Agreement and Deed of Sale. Each agreement generates pre-contractual/contractual obligations and very often entails handing over a deposit or payment so it is crucial that all property-related legal issues are resolved before you sign any paperwork. Your lawyer will also make sure that completion dates are agreed and arranged.
In accordance with Italian law, a notary – an official representative of the Italian State – must oversee the sale. Your lawyer will take all steps to complete the purchase, including when necessary, sworn translations of the deed of sale, help with transferring funds, supervising the notary escrow account activity, collecting the new title deeds. Italian law requires that vendor and buyer attend completion. Your lawyer will assist you. If you are not fluent in Italian but have an English-speaking lawyer, your lawyer will be able to translate for you. If for some reason you are unable to attend completion in person, your lawyer can complete on your behalf through a Power of Attorney.